So you jumped the gun and bought a diffuser before you actually had anything to diffuse (“too pretty to pass up” is a real thing, right?)—now it’s about that time to pick your essential oils. With so many to choose from (there are at least five just for helping you sleep), where to start?
Amy Galper of the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, a certified aromatherapist and an expert in all things scent-related, is here to help—with an essential oils cheat sheet of must-haves for beginners.
Before you go shopping, remember this important tip from Galper: Always check the label. Sometimes, essential oils are mixed with synthetic fragrance oils, so make sure you’re buying genuine essential oils, “meaning you can verify through some way that they totally come from a plant,” she says.
Read on to see Galper’s expert 3 picks for a starter pack of essential oils.
“Lavender is an oil that I think everyone should have. It can be used for any situation and any kind of ailment. It can soothe a nervous stomach. It can help soothe the beginnings of nervousness or a panic attack. It can help quiet your mind so you can think clearly. It can relieve pain from sore muscles. It can help a headache. It can soothe a paper cut, a splinter, or a mosquito bite. It has a lot of different healing and therapeutic properties. It’s one of those great oils to use in any application for physical well-being as well as emotional and psychological balancing.”
“It’s from the same rosemary that we cook with. The oil is awakening and has an affinity to breathing and our breathing space. It’s also great if you’re getting sick or if you’re feeling weakened in some way. I tend to use it primarily for supporting my breath, for clearing and focusing my thoughts, and for thinking and concentration.”
“They’re really wonderful for mood-lifting any time you’re feeling stagnant in your life. They’re brightening and awakening. They have these really great properties for cleansing our respiratory track, cleansing our digestive [system], and cleansing our thoughts. [Citrus oils] combine really well with rosemary and lavender for helping balance emotion, improve circulation, and cleansing the skin.”